Govt to face 16th amendment row legally, not politically  
August 10th, 2017 at 2:39 pm
Govt to face 16th amendment row legally, not politically  

Dhaka – Despite disagreement, the government has every respect on the verdict by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court that scrapped the 16th constitutional amendment, Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Anisul Huq said on Thursday.

The minister at a press conference at Bangladesh Secretariat also said that the reason on which the court scrapped the constitutional provision was not acceptable to the government.

The law minister came up with the standpoints of the Awami League-led coalition government that passed the constitutional amendment in 2014 empowering parliament to impeach judges of the Supreme Court for inability and misconduct after the Appellate Division upheld a High Court judgment of scrapping the amendment.

Nine jurists had challenged the new provision that replaced the Supreme Judicial Council introduced by a military government for removal of the judges of the Supreme Court.

The provision of parliamentary authority to remove the judges was in the original constitution drafted and approved in 1972 after the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan.

“We are aggrieved by the Appellate Division verdict. Therefore, we have been thinking of the option of review of the verdict. We are looking into the every single aspects of the verdict. Then we will decide,” the Law Minister told reporters.

“We will face the issue legally, not politically,” he said adding that the government decided to take initiative to expunge the objectionable and irrelevant observations made by the chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha in the judgment.

The government and parliament never had any intention to limit or hamper the independence of the judiciary by any amendment to the constitution, said the minister.

But it was surprising some observation made by the chief justice about the Article 116 of the constitution. The Article gave authority to the President to decide posting, promotion and grant of leave for judges at the subordinate courts in consultation with the Supreme Court.

Huq said the verdict that declared Article 116 unconstitutional was not based on logic. It was based on emotion and hatred, added the minister who also thanked four judges for disagreeing with the Chief Justice’s observation on the amendment.

“One should keep in mind that the office of the Chief Justice is a constitutional institution. And it is our responsibility to protect the dignity of the institution,” he said.